Running across America
This is one of the stories in our Story-Gems project, a collection of our experiences with our Guru, Sri Chinmoy. Project homepage »
I began my run on October 8, 1985, in California. I dipped my feet in the Pacific Ocean early in the morning of that day and I started running to New York. It took a hundred and eight days. I averaged about 30 miles a day, which at the time was the best that I could do.
I dedicated it as an expression of gratitude to Guru for everything he did for me. It happened that 1986 was the United Nations International Year of Peace. Because disciples were working in the UN, they were able to have this run be an official event celebrating the Year of Peace.
Previous to this, the longest I had ever run was the 47-mile race here in New York. During that year and a half that I trained, I felt that what I needed to do was to get every part of my body and mind strong and prepared for putting out an effort for a long period of time. Basically, what I did was triathlon training. For me, this is the superior kind of training. I would run, swim, bike, lift weights and do yoga. I would do five things—at least two of these things every day. I got really, really strong.
I made all my arrangements—planning the route and all the logistics—but as the time neared, I was getting a little nervous inside. After all this preparation and all the money and everybody knowing about it, I thought, “God, I hope I can do it.” A little bit of apprehension entered me, a little nervousness, and I said, “God, I hope I can finish.”
But one night I had a dream. This was maybe one or two weeks before I was actually going to start. In this dream, I saw myself crossing the finish line. There was a red ribbon across at the United Nations and I remember seeing myself running through it. I was realising, “Wow, I did it, I made it. It actually happened.” I woke up and I was so happy. I thought, “Wow, it's going to happen.”
Guru said many times that once something is ordained by the divine in the inner world, it's just a matter of time before it manifests in the outer world. When I had that dream, it was so real. I was convinced and so confident that all the nervousness or apprehension completely left me. I knew it was going to happen. It was just that I had to go and do it.
During this run, which lasted three and a half months, every day I was having these incredible experiences—inner experiences, outer experiences, meeting so many people. I got a lot of press, a lot of newspapers, radio, television, a lot of interviews where I would talk about Guru and his path and his philosophy. This was October of 1985 to January 25th of 1986—one year before the very first Peace Run. I did kind of a miniature Peace Run, because I was talking about how inner peace is the foundation of outer peace.
I never told anybody about that dream, but when I got to New York, to the finish line at the United Nations, there was a big ceremony with delegates. Guru was there, and the disciples. They had a red ribbon and I ran through it. It gave me so much joy!
Every day remind yourself:
Yours is not the mission that will fail.
Yours is the God-ordained mission
That is bound to succeed.
Sri Chinmoy 1